Samsung's Flash of Inspiration

With flash memory finding its way into more devices, the company's bets are paying off. But a possible Micron/Intel venture could be a challenge

In the late 1990s, much of the semiconductor industry had all but written off the memory business. Long trapped by boom-and-bust cycles, memory was suffering from a worldwide capacity glut that sent prices and margins into a tailspin. By 1999, big name players such as Texas Instruments, NEC (NIPNY), and Hitachi (HIT) had pulled the plug on their memory operations.

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